Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) was upgraded by investment analysts at SunTrust Banks from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.
A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on MRK. BMO Capital Markets set a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “sell” rating and issued a $55.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Friday, October 20th. Leerink Swann cut their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $69.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, October 30th. ValuEngine raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 10th. Finally, Citigroup raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, October 30th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $66.06.
Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) traded up $1.06 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $58.66. 12,343,000 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 10,604,122. The firm has a market capitalization of $171,170.00, a PE ratio of 56.95, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.93 and a beta of 0.76. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a current ratio of 1.43 and a quick ratio of 1.16. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1-year low of $53.63 and a 1-year high of $66.80.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.08. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 11.60% and a return on equity of 27.08%. The firm had revenue of $10.33 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.54 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.07 earnings per share. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue was down 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 3.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback program on Tuesday, November 28th that allows the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
In other news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total transaction of $281,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 0.25% of the stock is owned by insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of MRK. Boston Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 512.1% in the second quarter. Boston Advisors LLC now owns 374,199 shares of the company’s stock worth $21,558,000 after purchasing an additional 313,068 shares in the last quarter. KBC Group NV increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 32.7% in the third quarter. KBC Group NV now owns 1,398,162 shares of the company’s stock valued at $87,259,000 after purchasing an additional 344,592 shares during the last quarter. GW&K Investment Management LLC increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.6% in the third quarter. GW&K Investment Management LLC now owns 369,150 shares of the company’s stock valued at $23,039,000 after purchasing an additional 22,736 shares during the last quarter. Seminole Management Co. Inc. bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the second quarter valued at about $19,783,000. Finally, Badgley Phelps & Bell Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 14.4% in the second quarter. Badgley Phelps & Bell Inc. now owns 5,225 shares of the company’s stock worth $301,000 after acquiring an additional 657 shares in the last quarter. 73.68% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
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Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile
Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.